USDA has announced that it is formally withdrawing a proposed rule that greatly limits the SNAP Categorical Eligibility (Cat El) option. Cat El allows states to get SNAP to more low-income people working their way up the economic ladder and ensure free school meals for their children. The withdrawal is effective June 10, 2021.
In their press release, USDA noted that they received over 158,000 comments on the proposed rule and “many expressed concerns that this policy would increase the administrative burden on states and potentially jeopardize food security for children, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly.”
USDA has determined that the flexibility afforded by expanded categorical eligibility policies are critical to reducing the burden on needy households and state agencies administering SNAP programs. In withdrawing this proposed rule, USDA is reaffirming its longstanding categorical eligibility policy. s
Read the USDA press release here: USDA Withdraws Proposed Rule on Categorical Eligibility in SNAP.
Read CBPP’s report about how Categorical Eligibility supports low-income working families.